Number 5 is here! This should be the last set of blog posts relating to Wuthering Heights. Next week on to Poe. Although students often study and read Poe at lower levels, he is worth a more detailed study for a number of reasons. Have a great weekend!

Work on those essays.


Filed under Novel: Wuthering Heights

9 responses to “第五个。

  1. Karen

    I know it sounds a little absurd, but watching Wuthering Heights after reading it and seeing its characters come to life is actually quite funny. Heathcliff was a lot dirtier than I had expected him to be, Catherine didn’t seem so insane, Linton looked like a washed up white rabbit, and Edgar and Lockwood weren’t as charming or as handsome as Bronte had originally described.
    On a more serious note, the movie was definitely worth watching. When Catherine whispers, “I am Heathcliff” or when Heathcliff weeps over her body, you start to realize how deep emotions run between them. I would describe Catherine and Heathcliff’s relationship in the movie as tortured love, rather than insane obsession. Maybe this is because when they are together, they become better people – Catherine less cruel (like when she mercilessly teased Isabella), and Heathcliff less base, his permanent scowl gone for the time being.
    Wuthering Heights, Hollywood-style is more like Romeo and Juliet than the actual novel it was made from in the sense that Catherine and Heathcliff are like star-crossed lovers, doomed to be apart by fate and society, rather than two individuals who seek fulfillment in the causing the other pain. Perhaps those two descriptions of Catherine and Heathcliff’s relationship are one and the same – after all, aren’t the greatest loves the ones that endure no matter what torment they face, even if the torment comes from one’s own lover?
    Watching the movie was a satisfying end to reading the novel. It’s raised some doubts in my mind about the nature of the relationships between the two families, which is a good thing in that it will (hopefully) make my analysis of the novel less biased and more fair. I think it’s important to remember, especially with regard to Catherine, that some of our deepest wishes are the ones we do not dare to act upon for fear of seeing them crash and burn. In that case, Catherine is one to be pitied, not condemned, because she is the one who has deprived herself of the very thing she loves most in the world.

  2. Stacy :)

    This week in English we finished reading Wuthering Heights and analyzing some of the major themes in the book. A few things that stand out to me are Cathy’s ability to look pass class and pursue love the way her mother could not and Heathcliff’s ability to finally stop seeking revenge. Unlike Catherine, Cathy did not care much about social stature. She cares much less about how society perceived her, and thus we can come to the conclusion that she was not frivolous like her mother. With this, Cathy and Hareton are able to live happily and foster true love, unlike many of the other characters in the book.
    On the other hand, when Catherine’s ghost finally haunts Heathcliff, his crave for revenge faded away. In chapter 33 it says, “Five minutes ago Hareton seemed a personification of my youth, not a human being; I felt to him in such a variety of ways, that it would have been impossible to have accosted him rationally. In the first place, his startling likeness to Catherine connected him fearfully with her.” Heathcliff is finally able to identify himself as Hareton’s father. He then pictures their romance as the romance he first felt with Catherine. The cycle for seeking vengeance that we see in the story finally breaks at this point. When Heathcliff finally dies as a result of persisting to only eat one meal a day, Heathcliff states that to him, heaven is to be where Catherine is for an eternity. Heathcliff’s refusal to eat resembles Catherine’s refusal to be fed when she was dying. This reminds me of Catherine’s speech. She bluntly stated, “I am Heathcliff!” in chapters before. The two are obviously irrevocably in love with each other, and Heathcliff, wishing to be with Catherine in the after life, saw earth as hell as it separated him from his perception of heaven, Catherine. Nelly catches Heathcliff speaking in the supernatural realm a few times. After Heathcliff finally dies because he refuses to eat completely, he is buried right next to Catherine. With Heathcliff’s death, Hareton and Cathy plan to get married as a symbol of new romance that finally bloomed out of the malicious Heights. Nothing stood in the way of their love anymore, and for that reason, Hareton and Cathy’s marriage can be seen as the happy ending after all the despondence felt by readers throughout the previous chapters of the book. In my opinion, Cathy is worthy of respect because she is able to choose love over class. Unlike Catherine, Cathy never had an identity crisis. Catherine was always far too concerned of what civilization thought. In the case of Heathcliff, I am glad he comes to an end with peace. He did not die with the desire to seek further vengeance. He also did not die with any ‘unfinished business’. He was prepared to die peacefully. He needed that peace. Go Heathcliff!

  3. Jason

    Plot development. I for one believe that Emily Brontë was clever in terms of how she developed her story. Indeed, while many of us overlook the ‘understated’ plot, I believe that the plot she uses has a certain character to it. Firstly, I feel that the union of Hareton and Catherine is not that surprising as from the beginning I believe that the novel would have a symmetrical unfolding, as a result from the existence of the two main families. At the beginning of the novel, Hindley and Catherine inhabited Wuthering Heights while Edgar and Isabella inhabited the Grange. An obvious symmetrical plot would have been Hindley marrying Isabella and producing ‘Hareton’, while Cathrine marry Edgar, producing ‘Cathy’. Then their offspring would marry, unifying the two houses completely. An alien being, Heathcliff, who destroyed the ‘potential’ marital balance, destroyed the harmony of this plot. Nevertheless, by the end of the novel, Heathcliff and everything that involves him are eliminated, unifying marriage between the Lintons and Earnshaws, as if Heathcliff had never existed.

    Hindley was sent away due to Heathcliff presence, and this caused him to marry an‘outsider’ Frances, producing Hareton Earnshaw. Catharine married Edgar producing Cathy, while Isabella married Heathcliff, producing Linton. Ultimately, the union of Isabella and Heathcliff should not have taken place, which undeniably caused Linton to be a mistake, an unlikeable and weak human being. Another mistake was Cathy’s marriage to Linton, which was due to Heathcliff, and I believe that their childless marriage was due to the fact that the novel wanted to preserve the integrity of the pattern. At the end of the day, Heathcliff had no descendants, everything that were in relation to him being in Wuthering Heights are completely wiped out. As a result, the harmony was reinstated. Linton’s death eliminated a character that should never have existed, freeing Cathy to marry again. It is important to take note, when Linton dies; their marriage was, at least to me, relatively easy to forget. Indeed, when Cathy marries Hareton, and thus becoming Cathy Earnshaw, retuning to the balance of the symmetric ending, she will still be a virgin, untouched by Heathcliff’s ‘influence’. With the death of Heathcliff and his offspring, and the marriage between the heirs of Linton and Earnshaw, it feels as if Heathcliff had never even existed.

    This then begs the question of what if it would take in an alternate plot. Maybe one where Heathcliff had not entered the story or maybe when Edgar and Hindley are not found in the story. In this case, Heathcliff would then marry Catherine, and although the two houses would not be united, it would retain the emotional integrity between Catherine and Heathcliff, which would take on another different turn from what Brontë had depicted in her novel.

    Another beauty of Brontë’s plot is that the three names that Lockwood reads when he stays at Wuthering Heights ­ Catherine Earnshaw, Catherine Heathcliff, and Catherine Linton ­ are all taken on at one point or another by the two Catherines. The first Catherine is named Earnshaw, then Linton when she marries Edgar, then perhaps Heathcliff when she and Heathcliff are finally united in the grave. Her daughter is first Catherine Linton, then Heathcliff, then Earnshaw. All in all, I think her plot development had indeed added an intriguing dimension to the whole novel.

  4. Ainslie

    In our final week of looking into Wuthering Heights, one of the things that I found interesting was the comparison between Hareton and Linton, according to Heathcliff. Heathcliff mentions that he wishes Linton was more like Hareton, and that he would have liked Hareton if he weren’t Hindley’s son. Heathcliff seems really determined to prove himself as better than Hindley, through Linton and Hareton, by making Hareton lose to Linton in winning over Cathy. When I look at Linton in comparison to Hareton now, what I see is a nature vs nurture thing, as in chapter 21 Heathcliff says, “Mine has nothing valuable about it; yet I shall have the merit of making it go as far as such poor stuffcan go. His had first-rate qualities, and they are lost, rendered worse than unavailing,” and I thought that was a pretty interesting description of the two. Also, I thought it was interesting how Hareton is very loyal to Heathcliff, even though Heathcliff has ‘rendered him worst than unavailing.’ In chapter 33, when Cathy starts to defy Heathcliff, Hareton still sticks up for Heathcliff, and tells her not too speak badly about Heathcliff. In the book we are told that this is because Heathcliff is a fatherly figure to Hareton, because during his childhood, Hindley was always drunk and violent because he was upset with his wife’s death. Of course, Heathcliff wasn’t a much better father than Hindley would have been, but he was there and spent time with Hareton.

    This week we also watched the movie version of Wuthering Heights. The thing with watching movie versions of books is that all of the characters look different then how I would have imagined them while reading the book, but after watching the movie, that imagination is ‘replaced’ with the way the character is pictured in the movie. For example I used to always visualize Heathcliff as having somewhat darker skin, and short black hair. For Hareton I don’t even really remember how I used to picture him anymore. While there doesn’t seem to really be anything wrong with having this new picture of the characters in my head, one problem could be with inaccuracies of the movie in depicting the characters. We mentioned this in class, as Cathy actually doesn’t incredibly similar to her mother, with only several similarities in facial features, but in the movie the same actress is used for both of the roles, and so that might be slightly misleading for viewers, although it shouldn’t really be a big deal. Through watching the movie it feels kind of like watching it through the mind of the director, since it is his visualization of the characters and events. The movie also made Lockwood and Nelly much less important character, especially with Lockwood, as in the book the whole thing is from his perspective, and the story as he hears it from Nelly. There were many other minor discrepancies between the movie and the book, but I thought that it was interesting to watch anyways.

    There is one last thing that I want to mention, although it is unrelated to most of the story and is kind of random. Why does it feel like Joseph never dies? He’s around at the beginning with Mr. Earnshaw, and lives through all the children growing up, and then also is still around when Hindley, Catherine, and Heathcliff, the next generation of the Earnshaws die out, and his health doesn’t seeme to be showing any signs of deterioration when Hareton and Cathy get together.

  5. Nick

    As we watched the movie to wrap up our study on Wuthering Heights, I noticed a couple of interesting things. Firstly, the narrator of the story is not Nelly, but it is Emily Bronte herself. This changes the way we see everything because now, what happens in the movie is what the author meant, and not from a character’s point of view. We often talked about how Nelly’s stance could have affected the way the other characters are described, as well as the events that occurred. Because Emily Bronte narrates the whole story, we can assume that everything that happened is true and has no bias.

    Speaking of Nelly, she has a much smaller role in the movie than the novel. She is just the housekeeper that’s always there, yet never takes part in the main parts of the story. Reading the novel, I noticed that Nelly tended to see herself as a part of everything that happens, but after watching the movie, I realize that she herself doesn’t actually contribute that much more too the story. Throughout the novel, it seems as though she was always where the drama happens, but after the movie, I realized that she really didn’t have anything to do with most of the story.

    Another thing I observed when watching the movie is that Heathcliff is portrayed as the bad guy, a.k.a. the antagonist. In the novel, I figured that everyone was just as bad, but in the movie, Heathcliff really stands out to me as being the big baddie in the story. This also made me think, who is the protagonist? I’m unsure of who it is exactly that is the “good guy” in the story because almost all the main characters aren’t exactly the types of characters that would fit the hero/heroine stereotype. I think that is why many of us, especially me, found the book to be quite meandering and depressing, most of the time the story just drags on through, never having a clear climax because it seems as though everything just gets worse and worse. However, I can say that I found this book not so bad as I thought it would be because the characters were unlike any I’ve read about before. The whole story seemed so negative and dreary, which is different than what I’d usually read. Even though I didn’t mind reading this book, I don’t think I’d willingly read another of the same style as it is surely bound to make me miserable.

  6. Sheri

    As our time with Wuthering Heights draws to a close, I found myself wondering what I was supposed to gain from the story. What was it, exactly, that Emily Bronte wanted to convey? What did she want me, the reader, to learn? I highly doubted that Bronte wrote Wuthering Heights just for the sake of entertainment. Even someone as “harsh and unsympathetic” as myself knew that there was a moral, or at the very least several tidbits of wisdom, to be learned from the fascinating (albeit uneasy) world Bronte had created.

    Upon some reflection, I realized that Bronte was attempting to illustrate — for lack of a better word — the “ugliness” of life. Think about it: is anyone, save for Nelly, truly happy in the end? Catherine died without ever seeing her love for Heathcliff come to fruition. Her husband Edgar is left miserable, as is Heathcliff, who spends the rest of his life in emotional torment. Cathy is tortured and forced into a marriage with Linton, who (surprise, surprise) falls ill and dies. Life is not ideal and never will be. (Otherwise, can we really call it life?) Maybe some of us will never experience as much suffering as the characters of Wuthering Heights, but all of us will have our fair share of grief.

    Another important lesson to be gained from Wuthering Heights has to do with the flawed nature of humanity. Literature is a reflection of us — both as individuals, and as a society. In the same way, the characters of Wuthering Heights are supposed to remind us of ourselves. Our class was startled by the behavior of Heathcliff and co., but to be strictly honest, we would have to confess that there are aspects of those characters in our own personalities. Most of us have experienced moody spells similar to that of Catherine’s, or demonstrated some of Heathcliff’s selfishness in our own actions. Perhaps we should be as quick to judge ourselves as we do the characters of Wuthering Heights.

    The story of Wuthering Heights is timeless in that it is always relatable on some level. Whether we sympathize with the characters for their countless losses, or condemn them for their many flaws, we cannot deny that they are realistic to some extent. This, in my opinion, is where the true value of the story lies.

  7. Hartini

    This week, we wrapped up our study of Wuthering Heights with a few short discussion on some of the last important plot points, and a screening of the movie adaptation.
    There were several things that stood out to me in the past few days.
    Just this once, I’ll lean towards being a romantic and say that one of the messages conveyed by Heathcliff’s sudden change towards the end is caused by the fact the love trumps hate and revenge (ehm, despite how much time it actually takes for the love to take over, in Heathcliff’s case). Though Nelly doesn’t ever say what it was that caused Heathcliff’s sudden change nearing the end (e.g. when he was about to strike Cathy, but suddenly stopped and regained his composure), I think it’s safe to say that he saw so many similarities between Hareton/Cathy and himself/Catherine that he simply couldn’t keep on treating them the way he did. Heathcliff finally remembered what it felt like to be with Catherine, and what he felt like to lose her, that he couldn’t do the same to Hareton – someone with which he had so much in common. In a way, Heathcliff letting Hareton be with Cathy lets the story end “peacefully”. I’m not sure how to express this in the right words, but letting Hareton be with Cathy gives this story a “symmetrical” quality. I too feel relatively at peace, because even though Heathcliff and Catherine didn’t get to have their ideal ending, at least Hareton and Cathy did.
    I feel sorry for Heathcliff. He seems so tortured, especially in the part where he is pouring is heart out to Nelly, telling her how he feels like Catherine is surrounding him in everything he thinks and does. I can’t imagine feeling so haunted by a lost love for more than two decades. I wonder why it took so long for his obsession of Catherine to push him to the brink of death. I maintain that it was seeing Hareton and Cathy that reminded him so much of him and Catherine that he simply could not take it any longer. Or perhaps it was Lockwood’s encounter with the ghost that reignited his desire to reunite with Catherine.
    … I will now take the time to express my grievances regarding the movie. Though the movie was entertaining, I think that it failed to do the book much justice. The movie changed the roles and personalities of some of the characters too much, and changed how I perceived the themes and the issues in the book. For one thing, the movie’s portrayal of Nelly, Catherine Earnshaw, Cathy, and Heathcliff were very different from what I had in mind.
    In the movie, Nelly seems much more like the good supporting character rather than the potential antagonist we always suspected she was. I also think that the movie portrayed Heathcliff and Catherine’s relationship as much more scandalous as it really should have been. The way you could visually see them rolling around in beds and fields while simultaneously seeing Nelly treat them as siblings is just… strange. Though the idea is the same in the book, the portrayal of it seems a little odd. I also think that the directors made a huge mistake by casting one actress as both Catherine and Cathy. One big issue that comes out of this is that the book states that Catherine and Cathy were very different, while the movie presents them as very similar characters. Again, it allows for strange interpretations of the characters’ interactions, as it creates an unnecessary sexual tension between Heathcliff and Cathy. I could go on and on about how I would change the movie, but considering the word count, I’ll save it for another day. 😀

  8. Caroline

    Wuthering Heights had been on my personal to-read list for some time before Mrs. Maureen assigned it so I was initially quite enthusiastic about reading it. I found that the plot, though rather flat, moved reasonably quickly and the characters, as they became older, quite interesting (if only for their extreme personalities). As I read on, I became confused by the nature of Catherine and Heathcliff’s feelings for each other (see my firsts blog post) and began to wonder what Wuthering Heights was supposed to be about.

    After discussion and re-reading key parts in class, I have decided that Wuthering Heights’ message is “love should not be bound by class”. It sounds awfully cliched, but in my opinion, Emily Bronte did an excellent job by contrasting Catherine and Heathcliff’s sad ending to Cathy and Hareton’s happy one. Catherine was unwilling to give up her pride while Cathy was willing to, and ended up with the added bonus of inheriting the Earnshaw/Heathcliff and Linton wealth (not 100% sure about this; I’m not terribly knowledgeable about 18th century English inheritance laws, but since Heathcliff’s only living relation is Cathy…).

    I see Cathy and Hareton as parallels to Catherine and Heathcliff and what they could have been if Catherine had chosen to marry Heathcliff instead. Heathcliff himself feels this as expressed in his confession to Nelly towards the end of the book. Catherine and Heathcliff separately, are violent, selfish tempests, but when they are together, they are calmer and between the two of them, at peace. The result of their thwarted love is years of chaos and hurt not only for the two of them, but everyone else. Cathy is bitter and dour, Hareton also bitter and uncivilized, but together they overcome Hareton’s lack of gentility and the bitterness that they endured at Heathcliff’s hands.

    I also like the fact that Wuthering Heights is not solely about love and class but also revenge, and the Romantic idea that nature is superior to civilization.

    With regards to the movie, I, like many of my classmates didn’t think that the actress that played Catherine was a wise choice. It wasn’t so much her looks but the way she portrayed Catherine; the book’s Catherine is not only emotionally but physically violent — we see almost none of the book Catherine’s intensity in the movie Catherine.

    However, I did like the movie Heathcliff. I felt like I understood Heathcliff’s character and gravity of what he did to Cathy and Hareton more after watching the movie. I felt the actor that played him played him well and conveyed the emotional torture Heathcliff experiences excellently.

    All in all, I think Wuthering Heights does deserve the epithet of “classic”, but it will remain in my “meh” list.

  9. Daphne Tan

    This week we concluded Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights by watching the film adaptation. It was… very interesting. One thing I found to be quite different from the book is the narrator of the story. Instead of Lockwood narrating Nelly’s narration, it was Emily Bronte herself. Because of that, both Lockwood and Nelly’s role in the story is greatly reduced. In the book, I personally saw everyone to be quite annoying and unreasonable, but because the narrator is shifted from Nelly and Lockwood to Emily, I grew to really like Nelly. In the movie, Nelly gave off a completely different feel than the book. She seemed to be the only character in the movie that knows her place and genuinely loved her masters. She also is older in the movie, giving off a motherly feel towards Catherine, Heathcliff, Hareton, Linton, and Cathy, rather than a bitter teenager as she was depicted in the book.

    Heathcliff in the movie was even more fierce than in the books. In the book, he seemed to still have a hint of kindness in him, but the movie showed him to be a merciless beast. Catherine is more mellow, and did not appear to be as harsh as she is in the book. It seemed as though only Heathcliff truly clung and loved her. Catherine did not seem to want to be with Heathcliff, contradicting the book.

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